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Exploring career prospects for accounting graduates

Accounting graduates have a healthy career prospect which makes them land lucrative jobs right after college. In fact it is said that, ”an accountant is a man who watches the battle from the safety of the hills and then comes down to bayonet the wounded.” The jobs range from working in a small business, an individual client, to working for a large organization. Market standards for accounting students are high. ”Individuals with BA degrees and the required course work are more likely to find employment in smaller firms, but individual strengths and abilities will have an impact.” This makes someone without accounting qualifications to have very slim chances of finding a job in accounting. ”Every business major in college must take accounting classes just so that they have some brief knowledge in the subject.” This paper will discuss the career prospects of students graduating with an accounting degree. It will explain where accounting graduates end up working. In addition, the paper will explain whether any certification, licenses or experience are required.
Accounting students develop an extensive range of vital skills for their prospect career. They study the use of popular accounting software, writing financial reports, and interpreting different kinds of financial information. They also learn on how to advise organizations and individuals on financial planning and understanding state and federal tax laws. In addition, they acquire skills in customer service and become recognizable with ethical trade practices. Most prospect jobs require a minimum of an accounting degree or any related field. Opportunities must be favorable. ”Accounting firms hire plenty of students out of college through internships.” Those with professional recognition, for instance certification or licensure like CPA, enjoy best prospects. ”The main advancement for an accountant fresh out with a business degree is a CPA, this is a certified public accountant, however there is also a CMA, and this is a certified management accountant. ” ”A CMA is recognized worldwide, where a CPA is generally recognized in North America.” There is a wide range of duties in the four major accounting fields namely; management accounting, internal auditing, public accounting, and government accounting.
Management accountants, also called managerial, corporate, private, cost, or industrial accountants, record and analyze companies’ financial information. Their other duties include budgeting, cost management, asset management, and performance evaluation. Management accountants, being among executive teams, involve themselves in strategic planning and new products development. Analyzing and interpreting monetary information desirable by corporate executives in making sound business decisions is among their duties. Other duties include preparing financial reports for groups like stockholders, regulatory agencies, tax authorities, and creditors. ”There will be more competition on work for smaller private businesses. We understand that. We welcome it and we think we are in a good position to be the market leaders. We have a long history of brand recognition.” Within accounting departments, the management accountants may do financial analysis, cost accounting, planning and budgeting.
Public accountants execute a wide range of accounting, tax, consulting and auditing activities for their customers. The clients may be individuals, government organizations, or corporations. For instance, some public accountants contemplate on tax matters, like advising companies on advantages and disadvantages of tax on certain business decisions. They also prepare individual profits tax returns. Others may offer advice on employee healthcare benefits or compensation, data processing systems and design of accounting, and selection of controls for safeguarding assets. Public accountants can also be called external auditors. ”A professional is a person who can do his best at a time when he does not particularly feel like it.” These accountants, of whom many have qualified as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), normally work for accounting firms or own businesses. Some public accountants focus in forensic accounting. They investigate and interpret crimes like securities fraud and misappropriation, contract disputes and bankruptcies, and other criminal financial transactions, for example money laundering.
Technology is hastily changing the work nature of most accountants. Special software packages help accountants to summarize transactions in financial records using standard formats. Accounting packages reduce the tiresome work linked to record keeping and data management. ”Being an accountant is much harder than taking a few classes, but the payout in the end comes in handy when becoming wealthy.” This is because ”the average income for an accountant straight out of college with a BS in accounting is around fifty thousand dollars.” Computers enable accountants to be mobile and to make use of computer systems of their clients in extracting information from the internet and databases. Consequently, many accountants with broad computer skills may specialize in correcting software problems or developing software to ensure unique analytical and data management needs are met. Accountants also execute technical duties like developing technology plans, and auditing, implementing, and controlling computer systems.
Most accountants work in a distinctive office setting although some may work partly from home. ”Working for a firm creates different opportunities for college graduates because it helps build a portfolio, and in return the portfolio will be used to attract new customers.”
Accountants employed by government agencies, public accounting organizations, and firms with various locations may take trips frequently to do audits at government facilities or places of business for their clients. A survey conducted in 2008 showed that half of the accountants worked a typical 40-hour week. Many who worked longer hours were either self-employed or had many clients. Accountants with tax specialization often worked longer during taxation period. It is said that ”there are endless career choices for an accounting degree, because people will always have their taxes done.”
Fresh accountants may work under close supervision of an experienced accountant before becoming independent. ”Enough working experience at a high enough level as determined by the CGA point system is required. Usually it is two to three years of full time work. The hours are counted so if you work part time it would take much longer to get this piece completed.” ”There are about 20,000 CGAs in Ontario and 8,000 graduate students working towards the designation – Toronto star.” Any accountant who needs to file a report with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Senior accountants working in public companies registered with SEC may be included among Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). ”Helpful for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) to have as it gives a person a better rounded accounting understanding.” State Board of Accountancy licenses CPAs. Any accountant, having passed a national exam can become a CPA. ”Very few people opt to start with a CA and then move on to other designations as the CA is a field in itself.” ”The Ca designation is in no way less than the CMA or CGA.” ”The CA employees are likely to be recruited right out of university. Large firms like KPMG and others do so and have the ability to pick the BComm graduates with the top marks. ”
In summing up, ”there are endless opportunities that lie ahead of an accountant. In addition, there is a lot of money to be made in the business, and the knowledge of how to stay wealthy should make people want to become an accountant.” There is a wide range of duties in the four major accounting fields namely management accounting, internal auditing, public accounting, and government accounting. Management accountants, also called managerial, corporate, private, cost, or industrial accountants, record and analyze companies’ financial information. Internal auditors verify internal control effectiveness in their organizations. They check for waste, fraud, or mismanagement. Public accountants execute a wide range of accounting, tax, consulting and auditing activities for their customers. Government accountants work in public sectors. They maintain and examine government agencies’ records, audit private businesses including individuals whose activities must be regulated by the government. State Board of Accountancy licenses CPAs. Any accountant, having passed a national exam can become a CPA. This is in addition to having met all the other state requirements in their area of practice.

Definition And Nature Of Intangible Assets Accounting Essay

The case study addressed the issues relating to intangible assets. It concentrated on explaining the nature of intangible assets and the valuation and recognition of intangible asset with identifiability and separability concepts. The case described the normative theory of accounting, prescribes how accounting should be practised. Normative theory that is considered in this case study includes current cost accounting and current cash equivalent or exit price accounting. It also discussed about the undisclosed intangibles and the reason behind these high undisclosed intangible values.
The case concentrated on the criteria for recognition and measurement and explained historical cost and market price under mixed measurement system. It discussed about IFRS 3/AASB 3 Standards issued by International Accounting Standard Board, specifies how the cost of business combination is to be determined as well as how the assets and liabilities acquired are to be accounted for and interacts with intangible assets. The nature and calculation of goodwill is also covered in these accounting standards.
Introduction The case study is about the non monetary assets, characteristics of intangible assets and effect of Business Combination standards on the recognition, valuation and measurement of intangible assets. The purpose of the research is to define the basic elements, nature and characteristics of intangible assets in financial statements and to discuss the criteria for recognising and measuring them. Research has shown the better understanding of IFRS 3/AASB 3 Business Combination standards in the measurement or recognition of intangible assets and valuation of intangible assets in financial statements through normative theories which include current cost and cash equivalent accounting.
All the data related to this case study collected from various academic sources such as books, journals articles and websites which provide the information for the unrecorded and undisclosed intangible assets in balance sheets.
Discussion 1 Definition and nature of Intangible Assets: In AASB 138, Intangible Assets are defined as non monetary assets lack physical substance. It has some common forms include goodwill, copyrights, patents and trademarks (Deegon, 2007).
There are two key characteristics of intangible assets, namely:
They are identifiable
They are without physical substance
In context of Identifiable or Identifiability: Identifiable intangible assets: The intangible assets includes patents, trademarks, licences, brand names and copyrights can be considered identifiable because a specific value can be placed on each individual asset, and they can be separately identified and sold.
According to Deegon (2007), In IAS 38, the criterion of identifiability arose out of the Business Combinations project and the concern that, in identifying the assets and liabilities acquired, the intangible assets acquired must be distinguished from goodwill. Goodwill is an unidentifiable asset that AASB 138 does not allow to be recognized. Non physical assets cannot be recognised unless they are identifiable. The reason for this restriction is that it makes the subsequent measurement of assets easier.
An Intangible asset is identifiable if it meets either the separability criterion or the contractual legal criterion. According to Deegon (2007, pp.270), Paragraph 12 of AASB 138 states that:
An intangible asset is identifiable if it either: is separable, i.e., is capable of being separated or divided from the entity and sold, transferred, licensed, rented or exchanged, either individually or together with a related contract, identifiable asset or liability, regardless of whether the entity intends to do so; for example:
Market participants exchange deposit liabilities and related depositor relationship intangible assets in observable exchange transactions. Therefore, the acquirer should recognise the depositor relationship intangible asset separately from goodwill (Deegon, 2007).
Or arises from contractual or other legal rights, regardless of whether those rights are transferable or separable from the entity or from other rights and obligations (Picker et al., 2009).for example:
An acquire owns and operates a nuclear power plant. The licence to operate that power plant is an intangible asset that meets the contractual legal criterion for recognition separately from goodwill, even if the acquirer cannot sell or transfer it separately from the acquired power plant. An acquirer may recognise the fair value of the operating licence and the fair value of the power plant as a single asset for financial reporting purposes if the useful lives of those assets are similar.
List of identifiable intangible assets contained in IASB’s IFRS 3 Business Combinations (2008) Picker (2009, pp.391) explained the list of assets that could potentially meet the identifiability criteria:
Basis Marketing-related intangible assets Trademarks, Trade dress, Newspaper mastheads, Internet domain names, Non-competition agreements
Customer related intangible assets Customer lists and relationships
Non contractual
Order or production backlog, Customer contracts and related relationships
Artistic related intangible assets Plays, operas, ballets, books, magazines, newspapers, other literacy works, musical works, pictures, photographs, video and audiovisual material
Contract based intangible assets Licensing, royalty, stand-still, lease and Franchise agreements, advertising, construction,management, service or supply contracts, construction permits, operating and broadcast rights.
Technology based intangible assets Patented, computer software, mask works and trade secrets
unpatented technology and databases, including title plants
Non contractual
Separable or Separability in context of asset recognition: All the individual assets of a business, whether intangible or not, are separable from each other when it possible to aggregate or disaggregate them without loss or gain in the recognition and measurement of those individual assets such that the sum of them would always be equal to the whole of the assets of the business. Or Separable assets are those that can be transfer to another firm, without having to buy or sell the company as a whole.
Separability in Intangible asset: In the context of intangible assets, separability signifies identifiability, and intangible assets with that characteristic that are acquired in business combination should be recognised as assets separately from goodwill.
According to Cohen (2005), The separability criterion means that an acquired intangible asset is capable of being separated or divided from the acquire and sold, transferred, licensed, rented or exchanged, either individually or together with a related contract, identifiable asset or liability.
An intangible asset that the acquirer would be able to sell, license or otherwise exchange for something else of value meets the separability criterion even if the acquirer does not intend to sell, license or otherwise exchange it.
An acquired intangible asset meets the separability criterion if there is evidence of exchange transactions for that type of asset or an asset of a similar type, even if those transactions are infrequent and regardless of whether the acquirer is involved in them. For example:
Customers and subscriber lists are frequently licensed and thus meet the separability criterion. Even if an acquiree believes its customer lists have characteristics different from other customer lists, the fact that customer lists are frequently licensed generally means that the acquired customer list meets the separability criterion (Cohen, 2005).
However, a customer list acquired in a business combination would not meet the separability criterion if the terms of confidentiality or other agreements prohibit an entity from selling, leasing or otherwise exchanging information about its customers (Cohen, 2005).
Criteria of Recognition: Deegon (2007) found that an intangible asset shall be recognized if
It is probable that the expected future economic benefits that are attributable to the asset will flow to the entity and
The cost of the asset can be measured reliably
Reducing the number of assets recognised in the financial statements because of measurement problems may also reduce the relevance of the information provided in those financial statements. If an intangible asset is acquired as a part of business combination it is to be recognised as its fair value. However, if it is acquired separately it is to be recognised at cost (CPA 2007).
AASB 138 specifically prohibits brand, mastheads, publishing titles, customer lists and assets arising from research, following internally generated intangible assets from being recognised. Internally generated goodwill shall not be recognised as an asset. The recognition is not permitted because it is not an identifiable resource controlled by the entity that can be measured reliably at cost. Goodwill by nature is not separable nor does it arise from contractual or other legal rights (CPA 2007).
AASB 138, all intangible assets must meet the identifiability criterion, one part of which is separability, which is the capability of being separated and sold or transferred (Picker et al., 2009).
2 Intangibles Valuation AASB (2008), AASB 138 notes that it is uncommon for an active market to exist for intangible assets. Expenditure on an intangible item that was initially recognised as an expense cannot be recognised as part of the cost of an intangible asset at a later date. Intangibles are difficult to trade. Legal property rights are often hazy, contingent contracts are difficult to draw and the cost structure of many intangibles is not conductive to stable pricing. Accordingly, at present there are no active, organized markets in intangibles. Private trades in intangibles do not provide essential information for the measurement and valuation of intangibles (Alfredson et al., 2006).
Non physical assets have the above characteristics they cause the particular problem for accountants. Accountants have two activities related to assets are the recognition and measurement of the assets. With non physical assets, the determination of when they should be recognised and they should be measured is in general more difficult. Non physical assets cannot be recognised unless they are identifiable, it makes the subsequent measurement of assets easier (Alfredson et al., 2007). According to the bar chart on asset spit, undisclosed intangible assets are a major portion of the asset base of modern companies and this will grow as firms move further towards service industries.
IASB (2010), The only circumstances in which it might not be possible to measure reliably the fair value of an intangible asset acquired in a business combination are when the intangible asset arises from legal or other contractual rights and either:
Is not separable
Is separable, but there is no history or evidence of exchange transactions for the same or similar assets, and otherwise estimating fair value would be dependent on immeasurable variables.
Current Cost Accounting Theory: If we are using CCA than intangibles should always be valued and reported in financial statements irrespective whether they are separable or not.
According to Delaney